FCE LTER Journal Articles


Evidence for the removal of CFC-11, CFC-12, and CFC-113 at the groundwater–surface water interface in the Everglades


Poor agreement between 3H/3He ages and CFC-11 and CFC-12 ages suggests that CFCs may not be conservative tracers in the Everglades National Park. 3H/3He ages were used to calculate the expected concentration of CFC-11 and CFC-12 in groundwater from wells 2 to 73 m deep. The expected concentrations of CFCs were compared to the measured concentrations and plots of the % CFC-12 and CFC-11 remaining offered no evidence that significant CFC removal was occurring in the groundwater at depths ≥2 m, suggesting that CFC removal occurs at shallower depths. Except where CFC contamination was suspected, CFC-11, CFC-12 and CFC-113 concentrations in fresh surface water were nearly always below solubility equilibrium with the atmosphere. Measurements of CFC-11, CFC-12 and CFC-113 in pore water indicate a 50–90% decrease in concentration 5 cm below the groundwater–surface water (GW–SW) interface. In the same 5 cm interval CH4 concentrations increased by 300–1000%. This suggested that CFCs were removed at the GW–SW interface, possibly by methane-producing bacteria. CFC derived recharge ages should therefore be viewed with caution when recharging water percolates through anoxic methanogenic sediments.


This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation through the Florida Coastal Everglades Long-Term Ecological Research program under Cooperative Agreements #DBI-0620409 and #DEB-9910514. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.